To be clear, the prayers in school is banned by federal and provincial laws. This is not a matter of school boards deciding what is best for their students any more than domestic violence is about a man deciding what is best for his wife, or vice versa as the case sometimes is.
So the answers these politicians are giving is not only cowardly, but actually refusal to enforce laws and laws by the way, which to this day are still being enforced against Christians in Ontario public schools.
H/T Taffy in Canada
“I’m a strong supporter in school boards making those kinds of decisions,” McGuinty said Friday during a campaign stop in Newmarket. “I have faith in the ability of our school boards to manage these kinds of things.”
PC Leader Tim Hudak told Sun News Network’s Roundtable that principals and school boards have the best understanding of their students.
“They know the cultures of their schools,” Hudak said. “(I’ll leave) school boards and principals to make these types of decisions on what’s appropriate … I think that’s the way you approach this.”
A decision to allow Islamic prayer sessions every Friday in the cafeteria at Valley Park Middle School, on Overlea Blvd. in Toronto, continues to draw objections.
Local imams lead a 40-minute service — non-Muslims are banned from the cafeteria during that time — to prevent about 400 students from leaving the school in the middle of the day to go to prayers.
While Ontario Human Right Commissioner Barbara Hall has said that schools have a duty to accommodate faith needs up to the point of “undue hardship” — and that could include full religious services — groups like Canadian Hindu Advocacy and the Christian Heritage Party are opposed to prayer services in what is supposed to be a secular public school.
About 20 seniors held a legal defence fundraiser for NoIslamInSchools.cato Thursday to seek a reversal to the Toronto District School Board decision to permit the prayers.
McGuinty said the priority in education for him and for Ontarians is smaller class sizes and higher graduate rates.
“If you knock on doors around the province of Ontario and ask them today about schools they’re not talking about that,” he said, of Islamic prayers in school. “I have confidence in the ability of school boards and schools to sit down with parents, with the community, and to make decisions that meet the needs of that community.”
Only NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, a United Church Minister, has been prepared to speak up on this issue.
DiNovo told Sun Media that she believes children should have a quiet place to go to pray if needed, but full religious services do not belong in a public school.
During the 2007 provincial campaign, former PC Leader John Tory proposed full funding of faith-based schools, arguing it was unfair for just the Catholics to get their own education system. Voters soundly rejected the idea.